Tech – WIRELESS SECURITY IN THE “RING”

05. June 2020

Authors
Bart Shields – Xavier Bush – Oliver Kutolski

Background

The news is constantly buzzing about the latest data hack or cybersecurity breach. The circumstances may differ, but the method is always the same: an intruder breaches a secure system without permission. What often gets glossed over is actual processes the intruder employs, as well as the security measures that can be taken in advance. 

Despite Hollywood’s glamorized portrayal, the reality of hacking and cybersecurity is usually – but not always – rather more mundane, often hinging on a weakness or backdoor left open by human error or oversight. This is exacerbated by the fact that, for the vast majority of wired and wireless networks, the central security mechanism is a single static target: an encryption key. Much like the key to a house or the combination to a safe, encryption keys allow authorized users to access locked valuables (encrypted data) but through carelessness can easily fall into the wrong hands. 

Wireless communications are especially vulnerable to intrusion. Unlike wired networks, would-be intruders only require physical proximity to a wireless transceiver to breach and take over a network. Security therefore is a vital concern for industrial grade wireless networks with worker safety and critical heavy machine controls at stake.  

Security in Layers

Security for communications and IT systems is managed in layers. The first layer is comprised of data encryption and active countermeasures against various hacking methods.

Replay Attacks are one of these hacking methods; an intruder can intercept and capture encrypted data, then masquerade as a legitimate network user by playing it back to the network.

It’s important to emphasize that Replay Attacks can be executed even on encrypted data frames. A hacker that has captured and categorized enough of these frames can then “inject” them as necessary, gaining access and control of the network. This is known as a Command Injection.

To learn more about network security and EchoRing’s innovative wireless security solution, please download the free PDF. 

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